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Product No. 99790 Supplementary Print Price: FREE with membership
 

Determination of Satellite Orbits with Vector Calculus (UMAP)

Neil P. Sigmon


Application Areas:
Astrophysics, Vector calculus
Prerequisites:
Knowledge of conic graphs and polar coordinates.

| © 2003 by COMAP, Inc. | The UMAP Journal 24.1 | 26 pages |


The six orbital elements are used to classify the size, shape, and orientation of a satellite in orbit about the earth in space. Determining the orbital elements involve basic computations in three-dimensional coordinate systems that are typically introduced in a third semester vector calculus course. The purpose of this module is to describe the orbital elements and their method of calculation. Maple V is used to perform the computations.

Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND MATHEMATICS
Ellipses and Polar Coordinates
Graphs of Ellipses and Other Conic Forms with Maple
Canonical Units and the Gravitational Parameter

THE ORBITAL ELEMENTS
Preliminary Computations
List of the Orbital Elements

THE ORBITAL ELEMENTS WITH MAPLE
Computing the Orbital Elements
Comparison with NASA Values
Graphing the Orbital Elements with Maple
Plotting the Earth Orbit

CONCLUSION

APPENDIX: USER-WRITTEN MAPLE PROCEDURES
Procedure orbelem
Procedure shuttle
Procedure intspacest
Procedure oplot

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

REFERENCES

ABOUT THE AUTHOR